George Boas

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

George Boas (born August 28, 1891 in Providence , Rhode Island , † March 17, 1980 in Towson , Maryland ) was an American historian of philosophy and professor of philosophy at Johns Hopkins University .


Boas studied at Brown University , where he earned a BA and then an MA in philosophy in 1913 . He then continued his studies for a short time at Columbia University and finally at the University of California at Berkeley , where he received his PhD in 1917 . In 1921, Boas was hired by Arthur Oncken Lovejoy at Johns Hopkins University as a historian of philosophy. During World War II he served as a commander in the Naval Reserve . One of his undergraduate students was Alger Hiss , with whom he kept in touch. In 1956 he retired, but after a short stay at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1956, he remained scientifically active as a fellow at the Center for the Humanities from 1961 to 1962 at Wesleyan University and as Andrew W. Mellon Visiting Professor at the University of Pittsburgh .

Since 1950 he was an elected member of the American Philosophical Society . In 1957 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

Research areas

Boas worked on primitivism , rationalism, and ancient philosophy , especially Plato . He also translated the script of a not well-known Horapollon with the title Hieroglyphica from ancient Greek.

Fonts (selection)

  • The Major Traditions of European Philosophy . 1929.
  • A Primer for Critics . 1937.
  • Dominant Themes in Modern Philosophy . 1957.
  • The Inquiring Mind . 1959.
  • Rationalism in Greek Philosophy . 1961.
  • The Limits of Reason. Harper & Brothers, 1961.
  • The Heaven of Invention . 1962.
  • The cult of childhood . Warburg Institute, London 1966.
  • Vox Populi . 1969.
  • The History of Ideas. An Introduction . 1969.
  • Wingless Pegasus. A Handbook for Critics . 1950.
  • with Harold Wrenn: What is a Picture . 1964.


  • The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo . Translated and introduced by George Boas. With illustrations by Albrecht Dürer . 1950; Reprint with a new foreword by Anthony T. Grafton . Princeton University Press, 1993.


  • John R. Shook (Ed.): The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers . Oxford UP 2005, sv
  • Tony Hiss: The View from Alger's Window. A Son's memoir. Alfred E. Knopf, New York, ISBN 0-375-40127-X .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Institute for Advanced Studies 1956
  2. Guide to the Center for Advanced Studies Records, 1958–1969 ( Memento of the original from March 14, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ Member History: George Boas. American Philosophical Society, accessed May 8, 2018 .